Man, I wish I could write and drive at the same time. Last weekend headed up to my old homeland on some unfamiliar highways, Rolling through the town of White City, Oregon — gun shop, churches, VA recovery center, two kids wearing weird mascot-type costumes dancing on the side of the road to entice drivers-by into struggling strip-mall businesses — and on up the Rogue River valley, eventually into the high national forest above Crater Lake. Got a bit dicy in the pass: snowfall, sunset, fuel level and elevation all hitting at about the same time combined with me not being 100% sure I was on the right road; made for an exciting hour or so while I wondered if I'd end up hitching my way back in conditions that reminded me of nothing more than the Donner Party.
But of course I made it with some skillful no-chains driving — light touch and steady speed is the key — and crossed into the relative civilization of the Central Oregon valley. Had a great time doing not a whole lot with some old friends there. Parlor games, kid wrangling, gumbo, scotch, lots of laughter, etc, all in a big warm house in a pretty (if slightly Stepford) "Golf Community."
I didn't even feel out of place hanging out with a bunch of common-law/married/engaged couples. Just grown ass people enjoying their time. It did hit me a little when I left though, after cruising over to the Euge and enjoying a lovely Valentines dinner with my Mom, that itchy urge to email all my old ladyfriends or fall down a bottle, or possibly both. Couldn't get to sleep in any case.